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Ch 27: Reproductive System Goals: Identify the structures of the male and female reproductive systems, including the gross and microscopic anatomy of the organs, structures and accessory glands and their basic functions. Explain meiosis, spermatogenesis and oogenesis.

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ch 27 reproductive system

Ch 27: Reproductive System


Identify the structures of the male and female reproductive systems, including the gross and microscopic anatomy of the organs, structures and accessory glands and their basic functions.

Explain meiosis, spermatogenesis and oogenesis.

Discuss the changes that occur in the female reproductive system during pregnancy.

general terminology
General Terminology:

Gonads, or Primary Sex Organs = ovaries and testes Produce gametes & hormones

Transportation System

Transport of gametes

Secondary or Accessory Organs


External genitalia

male reproductive anatomy
Male Reproductive Anatomy
  • Primary reproductive organs produce gametes
  • Secondary reproductive organs . . .
  • Male reproductive and urinary tracts are partially shared
testes paired gonads
Testes(paired gonads)

4 month

  • Develop adjacent to kidneys
  • Descend into scrotum through inguinal canal (function of gubernaculum testis)
  • Blood Supply via gonadal arteries
  • Peritoneal lining is carried along  lining of scrotum
  • Spermatic cord: bundle containing all the “duct work”

In 3% of full-term and 30% of premature deliveries

Significance? - Treatment?

external features
External Features

Function: supports, protects, and regulates temperature

  • Scrotum consists of Skin Dartos muscle Tunica vaginalis Median raphe
  • Involuntary contraction (cremasteric reflex) in response to cold or arousal
internal structure of testes
Internal Structure of Testes
  • Fibrous capsule – tunica albuginea – surrounds testes
  • Lobules contain approx. 800 Seminiferous Tubules collect at rete testis
  • Interstitial (Leydig) Cells make testosterone
  • Sustentacular (Sertoli) cells aid spermatogenesis
  • Spermatogonia divide and one of the daughter cells matures into a primary spermatocyte.
  • Meiosis Spermatids (haploid). begins, 2 secondary spermatocytes. Another division
  • Spermiogenesis: Spermatid maturation into spermatozoa within sustentacular (Sertoli) cells
  • Spermiation: Spermatozoon released into lumen
sustentacular sertoli cells interstitial leydig cells
Sustentacular (Sertoli) CellsInterstitial (Leydig) Cells

Sertoli Cells:

Maintenance of blood testis barrier

special lumen fluid high in sex hormones, K+ and aa

protection from immune attack (due tosperm specific Ag)

Suspend spermatids and support spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis

FSH and Testosterone work via Sertoli cellsSecretion of inhibin to slow sperm production

Secretion of androgen-binding protein (ABP)

Interstitial CellsLocated between tubulesproduce testosterone

anatomy of a spermatozoon
Anatomy of a Spermatozoon

Mature sperm has 3 portions:

  • Head with acrosome (containing enzymes) and compressed nucleus
  • Middle piece with lots of mitochondria. Why?
  • Tail - flagellum - (rotating in corkscrew fashion)

See fig 27-6


~ 7 m long

Head - superior, receives spermatozoa

Body - distal and inferior

Tail - leads to ductus deferens


1) Monitors and adjusts tubular fluid (lining has stereocilia!)

2) Recycles damaged spermatozoa

3) Stores sperm and facilitates maturation (capacitation)

Rete testis and

Efferent ductules

spermatic cord
Spermatic Cord

Can be palpated as it

passes over the pubic brim.

Constituents :

1. Pampiniform plexus of spermatic vein

2. Spermatic artery

  • Ductus (vas) deferens

4. Lymphatics

5. Nerves-ilioinguinal and genitofemoral

Fig 27.3

accessory glands
Accessory Glands

Provide for 95% of the seminal fluid

1) Seminal Vesicles

  • Paired, on back wall of urinary bladder
  • Tubular (~ 15 cm)
  • Produce 60% of semen, hormones, fructose, etc.
  • Activate sperm (leading to motility)
prostate gland
Prostate Gland

20 - 30% of seminal fluid

Single, doughnut-shaped

Secretion contains:

  • Citrate
  • Seminal plasmin (mild antibiotic)
  • Prostate specific antigen (PSA) – blood test for ?
prostate cancer
Prostate Cancer
  • Usually grows slowly
  • Often slow urination is first sign
  • Digital rectal Exam and/or PSA
  • Treatment depends on size of tumor and other factors
bulbourethral glands cowper s glands
Bulbourethral glands (Cowper’s glands)

Pea size, paired, at base of penis

Produce about 10% of semen

Alkaline mucus buffers the acid that may be present in urine

2-5 ml ejaculate

Ejaculation of semen by pelvic floor and penile muscles (Sympathetic division induces peristalsis in tract)


1. sperm - 20 - 100 million sperm/ ml

2. seminal fluid – 60% from seminal vesicles

3. enzymes - proteases and seminalplasmin


Root - fixed to ischial rami

Glans – enlargement of corpus spongiosum

Prepuce = foreskin – partially covers glans and surrounds external urethral meatus (removed in circumcision)

Preputial glands - produce smegma (supports bacterial growth, such as E. coli)

Fig 27.9


Shaft with erectile tissues

Corpus Cavernosum

Corpus Spongiosum

Dorsal Artery and Vein

Penile Urethra

pathway of sperm
Pathway of Sperm
  • Seminiferous tubules
    • Convoluted, then Straight
  • Rete testis
  • Efferent Ductules
  • Epididymis (head, body, tail)
  • Vas (ductus) deferens
  • Ampulla of vas deferens
  • Ejaculatory duct
  • Prostatic urethra
  • Membranous urethra
  • Penile (spongy) urethra

Fig 27.8